with Raziah Ahmed
movie, Phantom of the Opera, begins with an auction at the
Paris Opera House in 1917, with two aged characters, in a
financial win-loss situation. The film is a story of love
Both the Phantom and Raoul claim the hand of the fair Christine,
but in the end, Christine is dead, and the surviving female
cannot even win the bid for the monkey with the cymbals.
The question is not whether the monkey is worth it; the fact
of the matter is that after an illustrious career, the lead
female opera singer should have had the ability to win the
auction. So where does money come from when youre old,
and no one will employ you?
Money for retirement can only come from savings in the form
of pensions, or from the conversion of assets into cash. If
assets, such as real property, are being purchased to fund
retirement, such property must be titled to make it easy to
Ideally, such property should be located in prime residential
areas, or in central business districts, kept for a large
number of years, and then sold in contemplation of retirement.
The cash realised from the sale of the property should then
be structured, with absolute guarantees, to last for all of
the lifetime of the individual at least, or structured for
the lives of two persons, until the second person dies.
It is easy to cash in intangible investments such as mutual
funds, CDs, and policies. It is not easy to convert tangible
property to cash, and very often, the most significant tangible
property is the primary residence of the retiree itself. One
simply cannot sell away ones home, to satisfy a need
for cash in old age. Where would one live?
But you could sell your house, and continue to live in it,
even as you use the money from the sale of your house, to
meet your monthly needs!
The way to accomplish this is by affecting a transfer of the
property with retention of life interest. A new deed can reflect
this relationship. Of course the sale price will also reflect
that the retiree will continue to enjoy the use of the property,
even though the property is sold to someone else. This will
improve the cash flow situation for the retiree.
The sale price can actually be negotiated in at least two
ways. First there can be the normal ten per cent down and
the balance in 90 days, or otherwise the sale can be by virtue
of annual installment payments over a period of years. Remember
the original owner retains a right to live in the property
These are not run-of-the-mill transfers, and careful thought
must go into the phrasing of the deed. Careful analysis must
also be undertaken to determine the kinds of persons who will
involve themselves in such relationships. Clearly such an
arrangement will be inappropriate if the buyer contemplates
own occupation of the property in short time. However, the
idea is one whose time has come!
Christines aria: All I want is freedom, a world
with no more night, and you always beside me, to hold me and
to hide me may well express an innate fear of deprivation.
But the Phantoms refrain is symbolic: Sing once
again with me our strange duet. My power over you grows stronger
yet...And though you turn from me, to glance behind, the Phantom
of the Opera is thereinside your mind.... Or is
n Raziah Ahmed is a registered financial consultant